The new year is swiftly approaching (2015? is that you?) and that means celebrations are in order. But these celbrations often vary depending on where you’re from and your local cultures and religions. Check out some of the weird, wacky and cool ways The Business Insider found that people will be celebrating this year:
1. In Argentina, people eat beans on New Year’s Eve for good luck in the year ahead.
In Argentina, it’s commonly believed that eating beans before the clock strikes midnight means they will have good luck in their careers in the year ahead. And, quite possibly, less luck in the flatulence department.
Some also believe that if they carry a suitcase around their house, they will travel more in the year to come. So come on, get lifting!
2. In China, New Year’s rituals include cleaning and buying presents.
Though celebrations to honor the Gregorian New Year are held in major Chinese cities such as Hong Kong and Shanghai, the Chinese Lunar New Year or the “Spring Festival” does not happen until late January or early February.
Traditions vary across China, but many include cleaning the Chinese people cleaning their homes to get rid of bad luck, buying presents for loved ones, and children receiving money in red paper envelopes. So, not really too different to some western cultures!
3. In Denmark, people eat a really huge cake…and smash dishes.
People in Denmark prepare an evening meal that ends with a special dessert known as Kransekage, a steep-sloped cone-shaped cake decorated with fire crackers and flags. And it’s giant. Like, absolutely huge.
Also, it is thought that throwing dishes on someone’s doorstep on January 1st assures they will have many friends in the year ahead. We’re definitely trying this one out on our neighbors!
4. In Ecuador, people burn effigies of their enemies at midnight.
Thousands of life-size dummies representing misfortunes from the past year that are burned in the streets.The scarecrows are made from newspapers and pieces of wood, and at midnight, everyone gather outside their homes to burn the dummies together. Like Guy Fawkes night but… better!
5. In Estonia, they eat up to 12 in one night.
For some in Estonia, New Years means eating seven, nine, or twelve meals. With each meal consumed, it is believed that the person gains the strength of that many men the following year. We’re starting to wonder if the guy from Man Vs. Food ever had a go…
You don’t eat the entire meal, however — part of the meal is left unfinished for the spirits or ancestors who visit the house on New Year’s Eve.
6. In Finland, people tell one another’s fortunes with melted “tin.”
A Finnish new year tradition is called molybdomancy (yes, really), which is the act of telling New Year’s fortunes by melting “tin” (actually lead) in a tiny pan on the stove and then quickly throwing it into a bucket of cold water.
The blob of metal is then analyzed to see what fate will befall the person in the New Year, like a very dramatic form of tea leaves.
7. In Germany, they eat pigs made of marzipan and watch TV.
The German people eat jam-filled doughnuts made with or without liquor fillings on New Year’s Eve, as well as a tiny marzipan pigs as a token of good luck. We want in on this one.
The entire country also loves to watch the 1920s British Cabaret play Dinner For One that is broadcast on German television stations in black and white each year, which we can assume is to them what Love Actually or Elf is to us.
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